Society Evernote: The Policy and Procedure Manual

One society I belong to maintains their policy and procedures in a three-ring binder. Each board member and staff position gets one. I’m estimating that they cost approximately $120 to produce.

This could explain why the policy and procedures manual hasn’t been updated in years.

Unfortunately, reality (and technology) has changed significantly and many of those policies and procedures are now useless. When viewed in the sense of updating the existing manual, the update would be a significant effort.

Fortunately, there’s a better, cheaper and easier way – move the policies and procedures to Evernote.

At the time the existing manual was created, membership applications were paper forms included in each quarterly journal. The applicant completed the form, attached a check and sent it to the society. The form requested name, address and phone number, but there was no mention of an email address or social network connections. Today there’s both an online application and a downloadable form in addition to the – updated – one in the quarterly. Thanks to PayPal, there are also more payment options. The society now has an email mailing list along with the address and phone lists. A lot has changed, but the workflow for handling applications has not.

Why waste the time and effort of forming a committee, researching and writing the entire manual? Instead, create an Evernote notebook for Policies and Procedures and turn loose the people who are doing these jobs to develop the procedures themselves. Give everyone involved access and use Evernote’s WorkChat feature to discuss options, recommendations and updates. With WorkChat, the entire conversation is visible to all.

Evernote offers a number of advantages. Because each note is easily edited, procedures can be quickly updated when new technology or environmental changes make it necessary. And, with more “eyes” on each workflow, you may well discover even more efficient or economical ways of doing something. Each note has its own history showing who edited it and when.

Another advantage is that an Evernote notebook (on a tablet or smart phone) is a whole lot lighter than a paper notebook and can go with you anywhere. If you still have board members who don’t own a mobile device, they can print copies of the notes from their desktop.

Your society’s board and staff can have easy access to the information they need whenever and wherever they are at a fraction of the cost and effort of a paper manual. It’s definitely worth a look!

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